On Thursday, Harvard Law School announced that it would be using videoconferencing technology to conduct interviews of J.D. candidates seeking admission to the program. Assistant Dean and Chief Admissions Officer Jessica Soban also confirmed that the Admission’s Office would be interviewing more applicants than in the past.
Telephone interviews had been used at the Harvard Law School admissions office for the past six years. However, this is the first time that Harvard moves to video conferencing. Video interviews would be conducted for applicants beginning with the current admissions cycle who are seeking admission to next year’s class.
Soban said, “The job of the HLS Admissions Office is to find the students who will become leaders in their chosen fields and will contribute to the advancement of justice and the well being of society, especially through teamwork and collaboration … In order to do this, we evaluate applicants from all angles, starting by looking for a history of excellent academic achievement. We also consider professional and extracurricular accomplishments, personal statements, and recommendations from professors and employers. The interview is one more tool that allows us to assess an applicant’s ability to communicate ideas and engage well with others.”
Soban also added, “We expect that these face-to-face conversations will offer candidates a more personal and satisfying way to let the Admissions Office learn about their strengths.”
Videoconferencing is already being used by other law schools in their admissions’ process with New York Law School being the first law school to start using the method, followed by Northwestern University Law School and Vanderbilt Law School and others.
According to HLS, the move to videoconferencing is part of a broader effort to find candidates more suitable for collaboration and teamwork, and possessing attributes that show they have greater chances of professional success.